All Student Vote (Spring 2023)
Disaffiliation from NUS (Over Failures of Alleged Bigotry)
To mandate Warwick SU to disaffiliate from NUS UK over failures of alleged bigotry.
This Union Notes:
This section should include any facts, figures or statements that you believe are relevant to the topic of your policy. Remember in this section clear and effective referencing is important.
1. The NUS (National Union of Students) has split into NUS Charity and NUS UK.
2. The NUS has been condemned by groups representing Jewish students as well as politicians for antisemitism, including the invitation of a guest with historic antisemitic comments.
3. Groups representing Muslim students and/or the Palestinian cause have threatened to disaffiliate over the NUS’ failure to appropriately deal with islamophobia against elected members.
4. The last elected NUS president has been ousted over controversial comments.
5. Warwick University has adopted the IHRA definition.
6. An independent report argued that the NUS had failed to challenge antisemitism and hostility towards Jewish people who, the report states, were "subjected to harassment"
7. Warwick Students’ Union pays £30,000 for affiliation to NUS UK, and £7,500 for the charity.
This Union Believes:
This section should include opinions or supporting statements for your policy.
1. The NUS has become a divisive union that is increasingly disregarded by lawmakers from parties across the political spectrum.
2. The NUS has failed to protect minorities from abuse through divisive rhetoric and lack of zero tolerance and condemnation for hate speech.
3. NUS UK, the failing political arm of NUS, is undermining NUS Charity, the operational arm which provides the main benefits to students.
4. Warwick SU, and any national student union it belongs to, must have zero tolerance against bigotry towards any individual, minority group and other protected characteristics, and require the same of elected individuals and guests.
5. Warwick SU, and any national student union it belongs to, should prioritise the day-to-day issues students face, such as requesting financial support following increasing living costs.
6. There are various alternative organisations which deal with national issues that have little direct relevance to students, including foreign affairs, which are more suitable for other causes and to which students are free to sign up to.
7. Warwick SU, and any nation student union it belongs to must:
a. defend free speech, especially the right to protest.
b. defend the autonomy of universities from the government.
c. defend the autonomy of student unions from their universities.
d. prioritise students where their concerns conflict with other groups’ concerns.
8. Warwick SU’s commercial deals would not be affected if we disaffiliate from NUS UK but remain in NUS Charity.
9. The NUS’ constant failure over allegations of bigotry and their detachment from key student concerns, as shown by successive low turnout, has left the union without credibility to many students from various backgrounds and politicians from across the spectrum, endangering the success of any future lobbying by NUS UK.
10. Collective power of students remains important, and a sustainable alternative model of national cooperation between student unions should be explored.
11. Warwick SU is wrong to bundle re-affiliation of the NUS to other affiliations, such as BUCS, with the annual re-affiliation ASV, and regardless of the motion’s success, the Democracy team should consider debundling the NUS from it as with other student unions.
This Union Resolves:
This section should be about how you want the SU to react, the outcome of this policy. Remember to mandate specific departments/sabbatical officers; this will make things easier for future accountability
1. To mandate Warwick SU to disaffiliate from NUS UK, and for the Vice President for Democracy & Development to oversee the procedure.
2. To mandate Warwick SU to publish a media statement stating its intention to leave NUS UK over the failures mentioned in this motion, as well as its intention to explore alternative models of cooperation between Student Unions.
3. To mandate the President and the Vice President for Democracy & Development to promote Warwick SU’s intention to explore alternative models of national cooperation with other Student Unions.
4. To mandate the Vice President for Democracy & Development to use concise, relevant, and incentivised polls to grasp the concerns and preferences of a wider number of students